Jacob Nissly, percussionist

Jake-NissleyJacob Nissly is the Principal Percussionist of the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Prior to his appointment in San Francisco, Nissly was the Principal Percussionist of the Cleveland Orchestra for two seasons and the Principal Percussionist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for one season. Previously, he was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach for two seasons. He has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, Houston Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He can be heard on recordings with the San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Joseph Pereira, percussion

pereira-stairsJoseph Pereira (1974), enjoys a multi-faceted career as a composer, timpanist/percussionist, and teacher. His work in all areas has been widely hailed for his creativity and virtuosity. As a composer, Pereira’s most recent commissions have come from Piano Spheres, for pianist Vicki Ray, percussionist Colin Currie, the Miro Quartet, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, pianist Joanne Pearce Martin, and the Manhattan School of Music.

Vicki Ray, piano

vicki-rayDescribed as “phenomenal and fearless” Vicki Ray is one of the leading interpreters of contemporary piano music. A long-time champion of new music she has worked with some of the most prominent composers of our time, including figures as diverse as Gyorgy Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Elliot Carter, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Oliver Knussen, Louis Andriessen, Steven Stucky, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon and Chinary Ung.

red fish blue fish, percussion ensemble

The New York Times calls red fish blue fish a “dynamic percussion ensemble from the University of California.” Founded fifteen years ago by Steven Schick, the San Diego-based ensemble performs, records, and premieres works from the last 85 years of western percussion’s rich history.

Renga, music ensemble

Renga-promo-photo-with-nameRenga is an ensemble of friends and colleagues from University of California, San Diego; the San Diego Symphony, and beyond. Led by Artistic Directors Kate Hatmaker and Steven Schick, Renga unites the most recent and provocative contemporary music with established classical repertoire in settings ranging from solos and small ensembles to full chamber orchestra. The 2014–15 season includes several premieres and collaborations with ICE and Wu Man, as well as performances at the Carlsbad Music Festival, TEDx San Diego, UCSD, and the Ojai Music Festival.

Timo Andres, pianist/composer

timo_mw_2013Timo Andres (b. 1985, Palo Alto, CA) is a composer and pianist who grew up in rural Connecticut and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. His début album, Shy and Mighty, which features ten interrelated pieces for two pianos performed by himself and pianist David Kaplan, was released by Nonesuch Records in May 2010 to immediate critical acclaim. Of the disc, Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker that Shy and Mighty “achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene… more mighty than shy, [Andres] sounds like himself.”

Uri Caine, pianist/composer

uricainewebUri Caine was born in Philadelphia and began studying piano with Bernard Peiffer. He played in bands led by Philly Joe Jones, Hank Mobley,Johnny Coles, Mickey Roker, Odean Pope, Jymmie Merritt, Bootsie Barnes and Grover Washington. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and studied music composition with George Rochberg and George Crumb. Caine has recorded 22 cds as a leader. His most recent cd is a jazz trio, Siren, (Winter and Winter 2011) with John Hebert on bass and Ben Perowsky on drums.

Mark Morris, 2013 Music Director

MARK MORRIS was born on August 29, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, where he studied with Verla Flowers and Perry Brunson. In the early years of his career, he performed with the Koleda Balkan Dance Ensemble, and later the dance companies of Lar Lubovitch, Hannah Kahn, Laura Dean, and Eliot Feld. He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980, and has since created more than 130 works for the company.

Mark Morris Dance Group

The MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP was formed in 1980 and gave its first concert that year in New York City. The company’s touring schedule steadily expanded to include cities in the U.S. and around the world, and in 1986 it made its first national television program for the PBS series Dance in America. In 1988, MMDG was invited to become the national dance company of Belgium, and spent three years in residence at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. The company returned to the United States in 1991 as one of the world’s leading dance companies, performing across the U.S. and at major international festivals.

American String Quartet

Peter Winograd, violin
Laurie Carney, violin
Daniel Avshalomov, viola
Wolfram Koessel, cello

Internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost quartets, the American String Quartet celebrated its 36th season in 2011–2012. Critics and colleagues hold the Quartet in high esteem and many of today’s leading artists and composers seek out the Quartet for collaborations.

The Bad Plus

For the past ten years The Bad Plus Reid Anderson, Ethan Iverson and David King have broken down the walls of jazz convention and created an uncompromising body of work. Few jazz groups in recent memory have amassed such acclaim, and few have inspired such controversy.

Colin Fowler, piano/organ

Colin Fowler hails from Kansas City, Kansas and began studying piano at the age of five. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy, he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees at The Julliard School, where he studied organ with Gerre Hancock and piano with Abbey Simon. He has played and directed music across the country, at venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and The Library of Congress. 

Gamelan Sari Raras


Gamelan Sari Raras, founded and co-directed by Midiyanto and Ben Brinner, is an ensemble in the Department of Music at U.C. Berkeley. Widely recognized as one of the leading Javanese music ensembles outside Indonesia, Sari Raras has performed concerts, shadow plays, and performances of Javanese dance and music throughout Northern California over the past twenty-five years.

Joshua Gersen, conductor

Joshua David (J.D.) Gersen, winner of the prestigious 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize, as well as the 2010 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, made his conducting debut at age 11 with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra in Bridgeport, CT, and his professional conducting debut 5 years later, when he led the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a performance of his own composition, A Symphonic Movement. 

Ethan Iverson

Ethan IversonEthan Iverson is best known as one-third of The Bad Plus (TBP), a game-changing collective with Reid Anderson and David King. The New York Times has said that TBP is “…Better than anyone at melding the sensibilities of post-60’s jazz and indie rock.” TBP performs in venues as diverse as the Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall, and Bonnaroo; collaborators include Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. They have released ten CD’s of mostly original material. 

Jeremy Denk, 2014 Music Director

jeremydenkwebOne of America’s most thought-provoking, multi-faceted, and compelling artists, pianist Jeremy Denk is the winner of a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year award. He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London, and regularly gives recitals in New York, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, and throughout the United States.

Aubrey Allicock, bass-baritone

allicockWith a distinctively rich, focused and sizable sound, Aubrey Allicock continues to make his mark among important opera companies and symphonies both at home and abroad. Mr. Allicock’s future engagements include a Metropolitan Opera and HD broadcast debut as Mamoud in The Death of Klinghoffer in the 2014-15 season; a Seattle Opera debut in the title role of Le nozze di Figaro and his Komische Oper Berlin debut as Escamillo in Carmen 2015.

Dominic Armstrong, tenor

armstrongRecently hailed as a “clarion-voiced tenor” by Anthony Tommasini (New York Times), Dominic Armstrong is a young tenor who has quickly established himself internationally as an artist of deep emotion and heartfelt musicality. Proof of this came in his recent, unexpected and well-received debut with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Alan Gilbert, in the rarely heard Spring Symphony of Benjamin Britten.

Mary Birnbaum, director

SONY DSCMary Birnbaum is a New York City-based stage director of theater and opera. Most recent credits include a chamber version of Eugene Onegin at Juilliard, Stephen Wadsworth’s Ring Cycle at Seattle Opera (associate director), and a new opera, Biennale, at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. With an interest in dramaturgy, she specializes in new music/plays and has created productions for Juilliard, the Melbourne Opera Studio, American Opera Projects, LA’s Son of Semele Theater, the New Museum, and Bryant Park.

Brooklyn Rider, string quartet

Brooklyn RiderHailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), the game-changing string quartet Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping performances that continue to attract legions of fans and draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble”; the Los Angeles Times dubs the group “one of the wonders of contemporary music”; and Vice likens its members to “motocross daredevils who never screw up a stunt.”

Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano


Rachel Calloway’s recognition continues at a very high level as a leading proponent and interpreter of contemporary music and the avant-garde. She has focused her career on works by living composers who champion their celebrated mentors.

Kevin Fox, conductor

Kevin-FoxKevin Fox, Founding Artistic Director of the Grammy-winning Pacific Boychoir Academy (PBA), is one of America’s few full-time boys choir directors. The Los Angeles Times called PBA’s musical sophistication and quality of sound “Astonishing”. Starting in 1998 with six choristers, Mr. Fox now runs the music program for over 170 students in PBA’s after-school program and day school, the only full-time choir school on the West Coast, where students’ daily music studies are integrated into a full academic curriculum.

Jennifer Frautschi

jennifer6Two-time GRAMMY nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient Jennifer Frautschi has gained acclaim as an adventurous musician with a wide-ranging repertoire. As the Chicago Tribune wrote, “violinist Jennifer Frautschi is molding a career with smart interpretations of both warhorses and rarities.” Equally at home in the classic repertoire as well as twentieth and twenty-first century works, in recent seasons she has focused on such composers as Berg, Schoenberg, Prokofiev and Schumann, and premiered several new works composed for her.

Hudson Shad

Hudson_Shad125Though the six-man ensemble Hudson Shad (five singers and a pianist) debuted officially in 1992, their nucleus formed in 1977 when three of them made their Carnegie Hall debuts as soloists in Penderecki’s Magnificat. Throughout the late ’70s and ’80s, their members were in demand as early music specialists, oratorio soloists and opera singers, and most of them sang at one time or another as Gentlemen of the Choir at St. Thomas Church in NYC.

Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Eric Jacobsen_by Keith LewHailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative programming projects. As co-founder and Music Director of adventurous orchestra The Knights and a founding member of genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider, he may take credit for helping to ensure “the future of classical music in America” (Los Angeles Times).